BUSINESSES most impacted by Covid-19 and the Omicron variant are set to benefit from a government support package worth £111 million.

South East firms in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors will be able to apply for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises depending on rateable value.

As part of the initiative, businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above will be eligible to apply for £6,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £15,00 to £51,000 and £15,000 and below can apply for £4,000 and £2,667 respectively.

In addition, more than £17 million in discretionary funding is also being made available for local authorities in the South East to support other businesses.

Business Minister Paul Scully said: “The Omicron variant has been spreading fast and I know how much disruption it has caused many businesses this winter, especially in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

“I’m urging businesses in the South East and across the country to engage with their council to make the most of the grants we’re providing. By making use of the support on offer, looking out for one another, and getting our booster jabs, we can all redouble our efforts to defeat this virus.”

Businesses are encouraged to apply to their council for grant funding, which will be administered over the coming weeks.

These grants are the same size as the monthly cash grants government provided to hospitality businesses when they were fully closed earlier this year – whereas now they can continue to trade.

The grant funding forms part of a £1 billion support package, which includes an additional £30 million for the Culture Recovery Fund and reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme - reimbursing eligible businesses for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences.

Businesses eligible for grants are those that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

Other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as personal care services, are also able to apply for grants with the government allocating more than £100 million to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England. Local authorities will have discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need.

The Business Secretary has written to those local authorities who have more than 5 per cent left over from previous ARG funding rounds, instructing them to disburse their remaining funding.